Friday, February 10, 2012

First Setback

Of course no project would be fun if you did not experience some "minor" setbacks....
Well I just found out that our septic tank's leach lines run exactly under the location I had picked for the pond. Mhhh...So the pond will have to be relocated, but now I am thinking that could be a good place for a bog / rainwater harvesting site. I am now reading Sepp Holzer's book about permaculture, he is a pond expert!
So I am stepping back one step, to more planning and site study!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

RESOURCES

here is a series of links to helpful resources for the duckponics pond project!

How to build a Skippy Biofilter
http://www.skippysstuff.com/biofiltr.htm

Helpful hints form Skippy
http://www.skippysstuff.com/plumbing.htm

Leisure's version of the biofilter - lots of great photos
http://leisure.prior-it.co.uk/pond.shtml#essential

Another version of the duckponics project
http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2228&hilit=ducks

The original Duckponics experiment form wifezilla! The best thread ever!!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/146829/the-duck-ponics-experiment-raising-minnows

Link to a good pump that handles solids
http://www.lagunaponds.com/lagunaeng/maxflopumps/maxflo.php?link=141

Marsh Plants for Greywater
http://tricia-edgar.suite101.com/marsh-plants-that-clean-grey-water-a114854

Aswesome govenment page full of links on constructed wetlands
http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/restore/cwetlands.cfm

That is it for the moment...more to follow!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Duckponics phase I - The site





Here are some photos of the site as it is right now. The logs mark the spot where I thought to put the pond. The marsh would probably be just uphill from that in a created terrace.

An exciting new project: Duck Pond + Marsh + Biofilter = Duckponics

I been wanting a pond since I got my first ducks....which is quite understandable if you have to live with the constant cleaning of kiddie pools that get bigger and bigger as the ducks get more numerous.
The duckponics idea originally belongs to one of the BackYardChickens forum members, who tried this experiment herself, providing tons of invaluable information on the process. But the original idea of duck pond/ greywater / marsh system actually belong to Penny Livingston (http://westbynorthwest.org/summer02/dedanan.perm.sum02.shtml). I was reading the permaculture classic "Gaias Garden" last year when I read about her system and instantly wanted one like that.
We finally happened upon the right place and time for my dream to have the chance to become reality!!
Now the research has really started to become of vital importance!
Unfortunately until now I did not find any detailed description of a system quite like I want...so I will have to puzzle it together on my own I guess!

In this post and the future ones I will try to share all the information and the process, so that it might be useful for other duckponics / greywater enthusiasts.


Let's start form my vision:
I would like to create a pond for my ducks to swim in, that would mimic as close as possible a natural ecosystem where the duck waste becomes fertilizer for aquatic plants, the marsh and plants for duck food. This system will eventually grow to include greywater recycling from the main house and of course rainwater harvesting.

I am still not 100% sure all this is doable in one project, but Mother Nature seems able to include 1000 different uses for any given ecosystem, so why not aim high?

I hope any readers out there will not be shy to leave some comments and some feedback, as this is a highly experimental project!

....to be continued.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The bat


About an hour ago we took down this old dead oak tree for firewood. After we hitched it and the tractor dragged it away, I was going back to the car when the dogs got my attention. They were all staring at something on the ground, somethings small and brown that was making a strange hissing noise. It was a little bat, lying flat on the dirt and screaming his head off in panic. I shooed the dogs and picked it up gently with my leather gloves. Its mouth was wide open and it was panting, evidently frightened. I talked to it soothingly for a few moments and it stopped hissing, then closed its mouth. It really seemed to be listening, looked at me and moved its ears with the sounds..Its face was the cutest, CUTEST little puppy face I ever saw! He had a wise expression and really looked like he understood what I was telling him. We drove together back to the house, just as it was getting dark. I was really afraid that he had been hit in the fall of the tree, and he would just die like all the other hurt wild animal you pick up...But I checked his little body, his wings and legs seemed whole, even his little tail was ok, no scratches, no blood....just a scared little bat trembling in my hand...
And then suddenly he flew! He took off from my hand and flew three circles above my head...hovered for a moment then took off into the woods...
Finally a story with an happy ending!! What a fascinating, lovely little creature!!! I miss you already!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

MIA ?!

If any of you friends, family and strangers in cyberspace has ever followed this little blog and wondered: "What happened to her???"...
Well life took over again and even the few minutes needed for a blog are now occupied with things that need to be done.
Maybe the real reason is that I feel like I still have so much to learn before can say anything of my own...And sincerely there is enough people out there that just write just for the sake of having an audience.
Well I am about to go back to being a student again, and very very excited about it!
I am about to start the "Certification in Whole Food Nutrition" program from the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health. This is what I have been looking for for a long time, and can not wait to dig in!

So in the meantime the blog will probably suffer....but then again, I will have so much more to write about...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Do you have allergies??? Read this!

This is an article from the Weston Price Foundation Website, see the bottom for link to original page.

Allergies and Hay Fever
Holistic Healthcare - Ask the Doctor
Saturday, 01 January 2000 16:37


Question: I am a 34-year-old male and basically in excellent health. However, ever since I was about ten years old, I have had hay fever so bad that I feel like I almost miss Spring. From early May to mid June my eyes water, my nose runs and my throat itches. I get short of breath and every year I end up with a sinus infection. I have been treated with allergy shots which helped for a while, decongestants which made me drowsy, the new allergy medicines which just made me feel funny and homeopathic medicines which only gave very temporary relief. Do you have any advice for me?

Answer: Allergies and hay fever are among the most common maladies suffered by modern Americans. Allergy medication every year is among the top five best selling drugs and if you count asthma, eczema and food allergies, almost one out of three Americans has some sort of allergy. Surprisingly, this condition is of relatively recent origin as even the homeopathic doctors in the early part of the century rarely described allergic diseases or hay fever. As I have discussed in this column, many changes in our life-styles and habits have occurred this century which probably account for this rising incidence.

Specifically, the best theory on the etiology of allergies is that they are related to an imbalance in the functioning of our adrenal gland. More exactly, when the adrenal cortex – that part of our adrenal gland that makes various hormones (such as cortisone) that mediate the inflammatory response – is weak or underactive, then a variety of symptoms occur. Besides inflammation, which can manifest as asthma, weeping skin or hay fever, depending on the site of the inflammation, these adrenal hormones also regulate such functions as sugar balance (via glucocorticoids), mineral balance (via mineralocorticoids) and sexual development (via the sex hormones.) A key point in understanding the therapy for supporting adrenal function is that all of these hormones are synthesized from cholesterol, and that the adrenal cortex is the organ in our bodies with the most need for the vitamin C complex to maintain its function. Also, it seems as if the adrenal cortex is very sensitive to blood sugar levels and that consumption of refined carbohydrates is at the bottom of many cases of allergies for both humans and in animal studies. The natural therapy for all allergies, therefore, is not cortisone – the conventional therapy for allergic disease but which suppresses and eventually weakens our adrenal glands – but a nutritional and supplemental program which actually rebuilds and rebalances our adrenal cortex.

The first step in this therapy is to absolutely avoid all refined carbohydrates including bread, pasta and sugar, as well as most sweet foods such as maple syrup and fruit juices, while any allergic symptoms are present. The diet should be rhythmical, that is you should eat three meals a day with no snacks in between. At each meal eat about 1/3 animal food, 1/3 properly prepared whole grains and 1/3 vegetables in a variety of ways, and with plenty of good quality butter. To aid in mineral balance, use only Celtic sea salt. I also suggest people include zucchini daily in their diet and to make liberal use of bone broths as the minerals in these foods seems to lessen allergic symptoms.

To help "immunize" yourself against pollen, eat 1 tablespoon of really raw honey (locally produced if possible) with the addition of about 1/2 tablespoon of fresh bee pollen. With the bee pollen, start with a few granules and gradually increase to the full dose. Eat foods high in the full vitamin C complex such as sprouts, sauerkraut, raw milk and fresh berries. Also, take a supplement with these components such as Cataplex C or Collagen C from Standard Process, or acerola berries, about 250 mg. three times a day, from Schiff, or from Springreen (816-221-3298).

Often with my patients I add either sublingual or intravenous adrenal cortical extract to augment adrenal function. Your physician can obtain the adrenal cortex preparations from Apothecure (800) 545-9960. They also make a product called Adrenal Cortex Support which is a combination of desiccated adrenal gland, vitamin C, magnesium and licorice root, an herbal medicine well known for its ability to strengthen adrenal function.

Most people get significant relief from this regimen after about three to four weeks, so don't forget to start early next year!

Copyright: ©1999 Tom Cowan. All Rights Reserved. First published in Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal

http://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-doctor/204-allergies-and-hay-fever.html

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